Anyone interested in purchasing the all-new 2017 Hyundai Ioniq better be proficient at decision making. That’s required, because the Ioniq comes in three models – and all three of them are appealing.
For forward-thinking folks who want to travel via electric vehicle (EV) only, the Ioniq Electric is quite tempting. But not so fast on that decision. Hyundai also offers the Ioniq Hybrid and the Ioniq plug-in hybrid. Regardless of which model is chosen, what car buyers will be getting is a premium compact vehicle that has a sporty exterior, is extremely fuel efficient, and can be driven off the dealer’s lot for a reasonable price.
If purchased in California, the Ioniq Electric costs approximately $20,300 after rebates, which is quite the savings from a roughly $30,300 price tag.
Regarding price, Hyundai is offering what it calls a subscription program, which in reality is a lease. The cost for the 24- to 36-month plan is between $275 to $365 per month, depending on trim model. There’s a $2,500 amount due at purchase, but that’s offset by the California Clean Vehicle Rebate ($2,500 for most applicants). The “subscription” features free scheduled maintenance, unlimited mileage, and free replacement for items like brake pads, windshield wipers and tires. There’s also reimbursement for charging costs for the initial 50,000 miles.
At first glance, the Electric and Hybrid models appear the same. But look a little closer and one can see the difference: the grille is sealed off in the Ioniq Electric. The reasoning makes sense: the EV model has no radiator because there’s no engine. All Ioniq models have a have a flat roofline that was done to get the maximum in aerodynamics.
The Ioniq Electric is battery-powered and has a 124-mile range. While that distance is nothing shabby, it can’t compete with the Chevy Bolt’s 238-mile range before recharging is required. Yet the Ioniq will still go further than most EV’s without needing a charge. The Ioniq’s fuel economy is equivalent to 122-150 mpg.
All Ioniq Electric vehicles have an 88 kilowatt (kW) lithium-ion pack that is located beneath the rear seat. Typical charging time is 4.5 hours, using the standard 240-volt EV charger that many owners install at their homes.
The EV motor generates118 horsepower and 215 pound-feet of torque. We didn’t feel like the EV was lacking performance. Although not quick off the line, it delivers well in freeway passing situations and can climb steep hills adequately. Unlike the Hybrid model, the EV version doesn’t have a sport mode that enhances the driving experience. All Ioniq models deliver solid handling and accurate steering.
One of the most notable qualities of the Ioniq Hybrid is gas mileage – it gets between 54-59 mpg. That’s better than the Toyota Prius. Note that the Hybrid plug-in model will go 27 miles via electric power only.
The Hybrid and the plug-in both have a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers a combined 139 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. It’s a little quicker than the EV model and shouldn’t leave most drivers muttering about the lack of performance. We did notice the Ioniq has more than typical road noise and rear visibility is an issue due to a short rear window.
2017 Hyundai Ioniq
- Performance: 1.6-liter, four cylinder, 139 horsepower; Electric Vehicle, 88 kilowatts, 118 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 54-59 mpg; equivalent of 122-150 mpg
- Estimated price: $23,100 to $30,300
- Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain: 10 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/ unlimited; corrosion: 7 years/ unlimited
The Ioniq interior is fairly roomy for a compact vehicle, offering both solid head and leg space up front and decent room for back seat occupants. The interior layout is smartly designed and most people will enjoy the intuitive controls and the overall technology. The trunk space is 23.8 cubic-foot, more room than many other EV-Hybrid vehicles.
Hyundai could have a major hit with the 2017 Ioniq. It fills the need of many conscientious car buyers who are not timid about experimenting with an Electric or a Hybrid model equipped with some EV capability. Gas mileage is terrific for this capable compact that comes with an alluring price tag.
Jeffrey Weidel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel. His “Weidel on Wheels” auto reviews are featured periodically on this website at www.tahoeskiworld.com.